Explore the History of Lancaster County

By: Eric Kazda

I am not a history buff but that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate our history or enjoy learning about the lives and traditions of our ancestors.  I truly love a good story.  And with the rich history in Lancaster County I’m sure I will find many interesting ones.

I wandered the other day into Landis Valley Museum.  I saw on their website that they had an exhibit of wedding attire dating from 1830 to 1930 and I wanted to see it.  I didn’t realize how much more they had to offer!

First, I watched a short video telling the history behind the museum.  The video was short enough as to not overload me, but enough information to peak my interest.  After the video it was time for the wedding attire.  This collection will be here until February 2014.  I loved this collection!   There were dresses and corsets and a beautiful black velvet ensemble that was worn in a wedding in York PA.  Gorgeous!  I would wear it today.  In fact the most interesting point was learning that wedding dresses used to be practical in colors and styles so you could wear them more often than just on your wedding day.

The tour didn’t start till 3 so I had time to visit the craftspeople in the village.  There are various demonstrations of skills in different buildings in the village.  Here is a picture of Sharon Schaich demonstrating the art of scherenschitte.

The designs she created were incredible, so intricate and detailed.  I was fascinated.  Sharon told me I should try it and they have pattern books in the gift shop.  I may try it at some point, a very easy pattern perhaps.

Then our tour started with Mike as our guide.  He was very personable and knowledgeable.  He could answer any questions we had.  There are about 5 buildings to tour and farmland to walk around, so wear your walking shoes.

This house is Jacob Landis house, one of the houses on the tour.  He was a blacksmith and responsible for the tavern in the village which was built at the corner of the crossroads of Reading, Neffsville, Kissel Hill and Lancaster

We also toured the country store. This is a picture of the ‘over the counter’ medicine in the store.  As with all the buildings on the tour, you feel as though you have been transported to that time period.

As you stroll the grounds you may see oxen, horses, and plenty of gardens.  The produce from the gardens are used when doing cooking demonstrations.

A visit to Landis Valley Museum should be on your list when you visit Lancaster County (and the EJ Bowman House B&B).You will see all that is pictured here plus so much more!!!  It is well worth the price!

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